TV Addicts may Want to Mend the Cord

    Lesson learned in 2017: You may want to think twice before “cutting the cord,” especially if you can’t live without so-called premium channels, a DVR and local sports.

    Our adventure in cord-cutting lasted about a year as we tolerated buffering delays (with WIFI speeds logging in at 230 megabits per second), dropped connections and mounting subscription fees for PlayStation Vue, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

    Gone were the Tennis Channel, MSG, CW, The History Channel and other favorited we became addicted to with our Directv satellite service. There are work arounds for this, but we found connection reliability “flakey” at best.

    Directv Now wasn’t an option due to their lack of a DVR and frequently dropped connections.

    Plus, when we added up the total cost (including Internet service) we discovered we were paying $20 more per month than we would  be paying our local cable provider for their biggest package that included our high-speed Internet connection.

    What’s a loyal card-carrying geek to do?


    The cord has been mended.

    So, what went wrong? How did the cord-cutting universe fail us?

    Basically, it was never fulfilling its promise of true ala carte channel selection. The promise of our being able to pick and choose channels we wanted to pay for was unfounded as we found ourselves having to choose from different “packages” at tiered fees, ranging from about $35 to $99 per month.

    Sound familiar?

    Of course, we could have said no to these providers and used various apps to access our favorite networks, but many of the premium channels required that we subscribe to a so-called subscription service or pay up to $15 each for the right to view their programming. That’s $60 for the “big four” – – -HBO, Cinemax, Starz and Showtime. And you don’t get ALL of their channels.

    Add to this subscription fees for, say, ESPN, The Tennis Channel, etc. and you’re back at the outrageous cost of a cable subscription.

    Our advice to you? If you can live with the basic packages provided by the cord-cutting services, go for it! BUT, if you need more, it may be wise to think twice before making the move.

    Image Credit: Google Images


    • Michael L. Berman has more than 40 years' experience writing and editing for The Hartford Courant, The Norwich (CT) Bulletin, The Journal of Commerce and The Middletown (CT) Press. Mike's Techtalk column was syndicated by the Scripps Howard News Service from 1995 to 2000 and appeared as a computer and technology blog on until No. 19, 2013. You can also visit Mike's consumer technology website at

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